Models as web services using the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Processing Service (WPS) standard

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Environmental Modelling & Software





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Environmental modeling often requires the use of multiple data sources, models, and analysis routines coupled into a workflow to answer a research question. Coupling these computational resources can be accomplished using various tools, each requiring the developer to follow a specific protocol to ensure that components are linkable. Despite these coupling tools, it is not always straight forward to create a modeling workflow due to platform dependencies, computer architecture requirements, and programming language incompatibilities. A service-oriented approach that enables individual models to operate and interact with others using web services is one method for overcoming these challenges. This work advances the idea of service-oriented modeling by presenting a design for a modeling service that builds from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Processing Service (WPS) protocol. We demonstrate how the WPS protocol can be used to create modeling services, and then demonstrate how these modeling services can be brought into workflow environments using generic client-side code. We implemented this approach within the HydroModeler environment, a model coupling tool built on the Open Modeling Interface standard (version 1.4), and show how a hydrology model can be hosted as a WPS web service and used within a client-side workflow. The primary advantage of this approach is that the server-side software follows an established standard that can be leveraged and reused within multiple workflow environments and decision support systems.

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